18 injured as Islamist protests trigger clashes at Egypt's universities

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Oct 2013

At least 18 people injured in clashes triggered by Islamist protests at Egypt universities

Egyptians students run from tear gas
Egyptians students run from tear gas after clashes erupted between opposing students after pro-Morsi protesters chanted anti-army slogans during a protest in Mansoura University, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Scores of pro-Morsi students in and outside the capital protested on Tuesday afternoon, continuing a rocky start to the new academic year.

Violence flared up between students at Mansoura University, with some lighting fireworks and others hurling rocks, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.

Pandemonium reigned on the Nile Delta campus, as supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi clashed with opponents, prompting police to fire tear gas over the university walls. Some students were forced to take refuge inside lecture halls as security forces shut the campus gates. Sounds of birdshot were also reported.

Nearly 18 people were injured in the Mansoura clashes, among them seven security personnel, according to Al-Ahram.

Twenty-five students and professors will face the university's disciplinary board on charges of inciting students to protest and engaging in clashes with their colleagues.

In Cairo, 15 students protesting outside the education ministry were given four days detention pending investigation on charges of stirring chaos, blocking a main road, disturbing public order, and assaulting security forces.

The students clashed with Central Security Forces, Egypt's riot police, after they tried to block a main avenue in Cairo's downtown.

It was not immediately clear why they were protesting.

Clashes also erupted at Cairo University between opposing students after pro-Morsi protesters chanted anti-army slogans, state news agency MENA reported.

Riot police were heavily stationed around campuses in Giza, south of Cairo.

Thousands of students from Egypt's ancient Al-Azhar University have staged demonstrations at the university's main Cairo campuses over the past three days, demanding Morsi's reinstatement and the release of fellow students arrested during recent political unrest.

Security sources said at least 43 out of over 3,000 students involved have been arrested. Despite the arrests, Islamist students have vowed to press ahead with their protests, defying warnings by authorities and university leaders.

On Al-Azhar's campus in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, tens of female students backing Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood staged a protest on Tuesday, flashing the four-finger Islamist sign and chanting anti-army slogans.

Islamists have accused Al-Azhar's leaders of backing the army's July overthrow of Morsi amid mass popular protests against his year in power.

Tensions have been simmering at Egyptian universities since studies began in late September, as authorities crack down on the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood movement, crippling their street activities.

Morsi and tens of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been jailed on charges of inciting violence. Hundreds of other Islamists and their allies have been rounded up following a police raid on pro-Morsi protest camps on 14 August, which left hundreds dead.

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